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BYU Football Crushes UCF From Start To Finish In Boca Raton Bowl

Dec 22, 2020, 8:29 PM

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BYU football players celebrate a touchdown against UCF during the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

BOCA RATON, Florida – BYU football had something to prove heading into the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl against UCF. The Cougars wanted that 11th victory and to prove they are one of the best teams in the nation.

Message made loud and clear.

BYU crushed UCF from start to finish on Tuesday night, 49-23. The Cougars close out the 2020 season at 11-1.

BYU Football takes control in 1st Quarter

UCF won the toss and elected to defer. The first drive of the game, BYU’s offense was clicking on all cylinders despite missing James Empey at center.

QB Zach Wilson completed his first pass attempt of the game for a first down then Tyler Allgeier popped off a big run for another first.

Zach Wilson capped off the first drive with a TD run to give BYU an early 7-0 lead with 13:11 remaining in the first.

The high-powered UCF offense was stifled by the BYU defense, as the Cougars set the tone for what would come the rest of the game. UCF was forced to a three-and-out after a near interception from Micah Harper was overturned.

BYU then pulled out some tricks with a flea flicker to go up 14-0 and the Knights didn’t know what hit them.

UCF tried to answer BYU’s quick strikes with a big play of their own. QB Dillon Gabriel found a wide-open Jaylon Robinson, which would have resulted in a touchdown, but Robinson dropped the ball. The Knights came up empty handed on that possession.

The Cougars on their next offensive series had a turnover on downs after Wilson sidearmed a pass intended for Brayden Cosper.

BYU wasn’t held down for long as Zach Wilson found the endzone again for his second touchdown run two plays after Neil Pau’u connected with Wilson on a “special” pass play.

A wild first quarter saw BYU with a commanding 21-0 lead.

Scoring doesn’t stop in the 2nd Quarter

UCF got on the board early in the second quarter inside the red zone after BYU subbed out all 11 of its defenders to cut the deficit to 21-7.

BYU not fazed by the Knights defense, saw Zach Wilson connect with Lopini Katoa on a full extension pass catch down the sideline to put the Cougars in scoring position. This coming just moments after BYU was called for a holding, their first penalty of the game.

Wilson then tossed a lazerbeam to Isaac Rex for his second touchdown of the night to build the lead back up to 21 with a 28-7 lead.

BYU’s defense almost came up with their second interception of the night, this time by Jared Kapisi, but it barely hit the ground.

Cougars turned to their backup center for the game in true freshman Connor Pay after Joe Tukuafu got banged up. Wasn’t a problem as the BYU offense fired again on a TD pass from Zach Wilson to Neil Pau’u.

UCF tacked on a field goal before the end of the 1st half. BYU leads 35-10 at the half.

Early statement from the Cougs in the 3rd Quarter

Any hopes of UCF getting back in the game were put to rest early in the game as the Knights were forced to punt on their first possession and then BYU answered with a Tyler Allgeier rushing touchdown to put BYU up 42-10.

Another punt from the Knights led to yet another BYU touchdown with Gunner Romney scoring on a jet sweep inside the red zone to make the sure 49-10.

BYU went for it on a fourth and down inside UCF territory at the 38 yard line.  Wilson passed to Neil Pau’u which wasn’t converted, giving the ball back to UCF.

Zayne Anderson intercepted a Dillon Gabriel pass that was negated by a pass interference from true freshman Micah Harper who was stepping in for Chris Wilcox.

Two plays later Dillon Gabriel found tight end Jacob Harris for Gabriel’s first TD pass of the night. BYU led 49-17 with five seconds remaining.

BYU Football coronation in the 4th Quarter

UCF scored another touchdown then went for two, which came up short. BYU remained in the lead at 49-23 with 7:53 remaining.

Zach Wilson remained in the game on the following possession. Cougars moved into the red zone and then took a knee in victory formation to seal the victory at 49-23.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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BYU Football Crushes UCF From Start To Finish In Boca Raton Bowl